1. Ariel, firstly congratulations on the new addition to the family! Tell us a little about the new arrival, and how everyone’s settling in together.
Our little guy Van arrived in December and we are loving the chaotic and wild adventure of life as a party of four. His big sister Lou is obsessed with her baby brother and enjoys holding his hand, singing her favorite songs and hugging him (which looks more like a full body smother). We definitely have our hands full but we are getting into a good groove.
2. Were you straight back to work or revelling in the “time off”? (And yes, we know there’s no such thing with small children!)
Van was born right before Christmas so I took a few weeks off during the holidays but hit the ground running alongside the Parachute team in the new year. I absolutely encourage other mama’s to take time off, but for me that has never been my preference. Parachute will always be my first baby and I am so fulfilled by this work and miss it when I’m away. I did feel lucky that since we are working from home I was able to get back into the swing of things while still being able to have lots of time for newborn snuggles.
3. Being at home more during lockdown and now on maternity, have you made any changes to your interiors?
We recently moved into a new home so I am in the process of designing the space. I’m actually going to be stepping out of my normal neutral comfort zone with our furniture this time around – I’m excited to source cool vintage pieces and infuse a lot of personality into a more modern space. It’s the perfect blank canvas.
4. Do you like to work at home, and if so, what’s your favourite room to do it in, and why?
While I appreciate and am endlessly grateful for the extra time with my family, I miss office life! I miss the people and the energy and separating my work and home life in a more deliberate way. These days I’m working from the kitchen bar counter because the light is great and doing my best to get off zoom and do more calls so I can take them as I walk in theneighbourhood.
5. How will you freshen up your home for summer?
I like to switch up my bedding for the summer to lighter colors and fabrics. I always like to keep a quilt at the end of my bed for warm nights when a duvet isn’t necessary. This summer I’m thinking a bedscape of Bone Linen with our Cloud Cotton Quilt in Natural will be breezy and beautiful!
6. Are you a traditionalist when it comes to bed-making - hospital corners and turned down sheets - or are you more freestyle?
I’m definitely more freestyle in my approach. I like an unfussy look that is cozy and relaxed. Plus, it makes making the bed so much easier.
7. What are your favourite Varley styles for lounging in at home?
8. And how do you like to dress them up for being out and about?
I think leggings with an oversized blazer or leather jacket is an effortless and stylish look for running errands or getting lunch with friends.
9. What are your top tips for buying the perfect bedding?
When choosing the right bedding, consider factors like whether you naturally sleep hot or cold and what texture you like to feel against your skin. Our Percale is cool and crisp to the touch and is incredibly breathable. Our Sateen is extremely smooth with a subtle, luxurious luster. Our Linen is strong and durable with a laid-back look. And lastly, Brushed Cotton is so soft it feels like you're sleeping in your favorite t-shirt.
10. Last year investment into all-female founded brands went down, not up! What tip would you have for any woman wanting to start her own brand? What did you find the most difficult, and what was the most rewarding part?
My best advice for fellow entrepreneurs is to trust your instincts. I’ve realized that my intuition most often leads me in the right direction, and when I don’t trust my gut, it backfires. It’s important to tune out the noise and focus on what is right for you and your business. There are many ups and downs along the road as a founder. Initially, it was challenging to raise capital in order to produce products and take my business from concept to reality. While it was frustrating and humbling at times, I learned invaluable lessons, not only about how to successfully fundraise, but also how to evolve from an enthusiast into a founder and CEO. The most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur is building something that people care about and that has an impact on their daily life.
11. What do you love most about Varley?
Exercise is part of my daily routine. Movement fuels me, clears my head and keeps me feeling good both physically and mentally. My Varley pieces are versatile and no matter what I’m doing in them I feel confident and chic.
12. What’s the ideal thread count in bedding, or is that something of a myth?
We’ve been trained to equate large numbers with luxury. But this logic is not the case when it comes to textiles. Thread count isn’t important – in fact, it’s largely a marketing gimmick. What actually matters more than thread count is the caliber of the fibers. Parachute uses 100% long-staple Egyptian cotton and the purest Linen, which translates to softer, stronger bedding that lasts over time
13. How has California inspired you in all that you create for Parachute?
I love spending time outdoors – it’s one of the best parts of living in Los Angeles. I find myself constantly inspired by the natural landscape of California. Our home essentials feature the cool tones of the coast as well as the warm hues found in the desert.
14. When you travel, what ideas do you bring back with you?
I love to check out different markets when I travel to see the colors, textures and trends that are unique to each destination. I can’t wait to travel again when it’s safe. Morocco has been on my wish list for a long time!